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Ischemic Cell Damage

Ischemic cell damage is the injury of a cell arising from reduced blood flow Blood flow Blood flow refers to the movement of a certain volume of blood through the vasculature over a given unit of time (e.g., mL per minute). Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure. The process involves hypoxia from interrupted blood supply, lack of nutrients, and accumulation of toxic metabolites. Damage to the cell can be reversible (function returns when blood flow Blood flow Blood flow refers to the movement of a certain volume of blood through the vasculature over a given unit of time (e.g., mL per minute). Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure resumes) or irreversible (the reversibility threshold Threshold Minimum voltage necessary to generate an action potential (an all-or-none response) Skeletal Muscle Contraction has passed). While blood flow Blood flow Blood flow refers to the movement of a certain volume of blood through the vasculature over a given unit of time (e.g., mL per minute). Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure can be restored and allow cell recovery, reperfusion injury is possible in previously ischemic tissues. By producing calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes overload, oxidative stress Oxidative stress A disturbance in the prooxidant-antioxidant balance in favor of the former, leading to potential damage. Indicators of oxidative stress include damaged DNA bases, protein oxidation products, and lipid peroxidation products. Cell Injury and Death and inflammatory mechanisms involving immune cells, cytokines Cytokines Non-antibody proteins secreted by inflammatory leukocytes and some non-leukocytic cells, that act as intercellular mediators. They differ from classical hormones in that they are produced by a number of tissue or cell types rather than by specialized glands. They generally act locally in a paracrine or autocrine rather than endocrine manner. Adaptive Immune Response, and the complement system Complement system Serum glycoproteins participating in the host defense mechanism of complement activation that creates the complement membrane attack complex. Included are glycoproteins in the various pathways of complement activation (classical complement pathway; alternative complement pathway; and lectin complement pathway). Innate Immunity: Barriers, Complement, and Cytokines, reperfusion can also lead to cell death Cell death Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Apoptosis is programmed cell death, a mechanism with both physiologic and pathologic effects. Cell Injury and Death (often by necrosis). Susceptibility to ischemia is affected by different factors, which include high metabolic activity, the presence of collateral circulation Circulation The movement of the blood as it is pumped through the cardiovascular system. ABCDE Assessment, watershed areas, and the magnitude of ischemia. The organ most susceptible to ischemia is the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification. Other susceptible organs include the heart, kidneys Kidneys The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located retroperitoneally against the posterior wall of the abdomen on either side of the spine. As part of the urinary tract, the kidneys are responsible for blood filtration and excretion of water-soluble waste in the urine. Kidneys: Anatomy, liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy, and the large intestine Large intestine The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy.

Last updated: Jul 12, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

Ischemic cell injury Cell injury The cell undergoes a variety of changes in response to injury, which may or may not lead to cell death. Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Cell Injury and Death is damage arising from a decrease in blood flow Blood flow Blood flow refers to the movement of a certain volume of blood through the vasculature over a given unit of time (e.g., mL per minute). Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure, which leads to hypoxia, lack of nutrients, and accumulation of toxic metabolites.

  • Hypoxia: decreased oxygen supply ( blood flow Blood flow Blood flow refers to the movement of a certain volume of blood through the vasculature over a given unit of time (e.g., mL per minute). Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure often maintained)
  • Reperfusion injury: tissue damage from restoration of blood supply after an ischemic event

Cell injury Cell injury The cell undergoes a variety of changes in response to injury, which may or may not lead to cell death. Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Cell Injury and Death

In cell injury Cell injury The cell undergoes a variety of changes in response to injury, which may or may not lead to cell death. Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Cell Injury and Death, either the cells either cannot adapt or the maximum adaptive response to physiologic or pathologic stimuli is exceeded.

Ischemia and reperfusion injury are 2 causes of stimuli leading to cell injury Cell injury The cell undergoes a variety of changes in response to injury, which may or may not lead to cell death. Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Cell Injury and Death and death.

Other injurious stimuli Injurious Stimuli Cell Injury and Death include physical causes such as trauma or radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma, chemicals, loss of critical nutrients, and mutations.

Stages of cell injury Cell injury The cell undergoes a variety of changes in response to injury, which may or may not lead to cell death. Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Cell Injury and Death and death:

  • Reversible injury: damage to the cell → ATP depletion ATP depletion Cell Injury and Death → leakage of ions → ion imbalance → cell and organelle swelling Swelling Inflammation
  • Irreversible injury:
    • The reversibility threshold Threshold Minimum voltage necessary to generate an action potential (an all-or-none response) Skeletal Muscle Contraction for the cell has passed and cellular function cannot be restored.
    • The cell is committed to cell death Cell death Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Apoptosis is programmed cell death, a mechanism with both physiologic and pathologic effects. Cell Injury and Death.
  • Cell death Cell death Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Apoptosis is programmed cell death, a mechanism with both physiologic and pathologic effects. Cell Injury and Death (via processes such as necrosis and apoptosis)

Cell death Cell death Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Apoptosis is programmed cell death, a mechanism with both physiologic and pathologic effects. Cell Injury and Death

Necrosis (most common cause):

  • Nonphysiological
  • Uncontrolled cell death Cell death Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Apoptosis is programmed cell death, a mechanism with both physiologic and pathologic effects. Cell Injury and Death after irreversible injury
  • Membrane damage Membrane Damage Cell Injury and Death causes an influx of calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes → organelle swelling Swelling Inflammation → digestive enzyme release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology, which leads to:

Apoptosis (small percentage):

  • Programmed cell death Cell death Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Apoptosis is programmed cell death, a mechanism with both physiologic and pathologic effects. Cell Injury and Death
  • Activated by the release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology of proapoptotic molecules from the mitochondria Mitochondria Semiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of all cells of most, but not all, eukaryotes. Each mitochondrion is surrounded by a double limiting membrane. The inner membrane is highly invaginated, and its projections are called cristae. Mitochondria are the sites of the reactions of oxidative phosphorylation, which result in the formation of ATP. They contain distinctive ribosomes, transfer RNAs; amino Acyl tRNA synthetases; and elongation and termination factors. Mitochondria depend upon genes within the nucleus of the cells in which they reside for many essential messenger RNAs. Mitochondria are believed to have arisen from aerobic bacteria that established a symbiotic relationship with primitive protoeukaryotes. The Cell: Organelles (physiologic response)
  • Extrinsic pathways: 
    • Fas (CD95) → Fas ligand Fas ligand A transmembrane protein belonging to the tumor necrosis factor superfamily that was originally discovered on cells of the lymphoid-myeloid lineage, including activated T-lymphocytes and natural killer cells. It plays an important role in immune homeostasis and cell-mediated toxicity by binding to the fas receptor and triggering apoptosis. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) (FasL)
    • Tumor necrosis factor Tumor necrosis factor Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) ( TNF TNF Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF))-α → TNF TNF Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a major cytokine, released primarily by macrophages in response to stimuli. The presence of microbial products and dead cells and injury are among the stimulating factors. This protein belongs to the TNF superfamily, a group of ligands and receptors performing functions in inflammatory response, morphogenesis, and cell proliferation. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors 1 (TNR1)
  • Intrinsic pathway Intrinsic pathway The intrinsic pathway is mainly responsible for the amplification of factor X activation Hemostasis (mitochondrial pathway):
    • DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure damage → p53 activated → cell cycle Cell cycle The phases of the cell cycle include interphase (G1, S, and G2) and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase). The cell’s progression through these phases is punctuated by checkpoints regulated by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, tumor suppressors, and their antagonists. Cell Cycle arrest → p53 activates apoptosis 
    • ↑ Proapoptotic proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis (e.g., BAK and BAX), ↓ antiapoptotic proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis (e.g., Bcl-2 BCL-2 The B-cell leukemia/lymphoma-2 genes, responsible for blocking apoptosis in normal cells, and associated with follicular lymphoma when overexpressed. Overexpression results from the t(14; 18) translocation. The human c-bcl-2 gene is located at 18q24 on the long arm of chromosome 18. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas) → mitochondria Mitochondria Semiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of all cells of most, but not all, eukaryotes. Each mitochondrion is surrounded by a double limiting membrane. The inner membrane is highly invaginated, and its projections are called cristae. Mitochondria are the sites of the reactions of oxidative phosphorylation, which result in the formation of ATP. They contain distinctive ribosomes, transfer RNAs; amino Acyl tRNA synthetases; and elongation and termination factors. Mitochondria depend upon genes within the nucleus of the cells in which they reside for many essential messenger RNAs. Mitochondria are believed to have arisen from aerobic bacteria that established a symbiotic relationship with primitive protoeukaryotes. The Cell: Organelles release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology cytochrome c
    • Cytochrome c binds apoptosis protease-activating factor (APAF)-1 → activation of caspase and endonuclease
  • Perforin Perforin A calcium-dependent pore-forming protein synthesized in cytolytic lymphocytes and sequestered in secretory granules. Upon immunological reaction between a cytolytic lymphocyte and a target cell, perforin is released at the plasma membrane and polymerizes into transmembrane tubules (forming pores) which lead to death of a target cell. Lymphocytes: Histology/ granzyme pathway Granzyme pathway A family of serine endopeptidases found in the secretory granules of leukocytes such as cytotoxic T-lymphocytes and natural killer cells. When secreted into the intercellular space granzymes act to eliminate transformed and virus-infected host cells. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation: 
    • Utilized by cytotoxic Cytotoxic Parvovirus B19 T cells T cells Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified – cytotoxic (t-lymphocytes, cytotoxic) and helper T-lymphocytes (t-lymphocytes, helper-inducer). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the thymus gland and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen. T cells: Types and Functions and natural killer cells Natural killer cells A specialized subset of T-lymphocytes that exhibit features of innate immunity similar to that of natural killer cells. They are reactive to glycolipids presented in the context of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-like molecule, CD1D antigen. Lymphocytes: Histology
    • Perforin Perforin A calcium-dependent pore-forming protein synthesized in cytolytic lymphocytes and sequestered in secretory granules. Upon immunological reaction between a cytolytic lymphocyte and a target cell, perforin is released at the plasma membrane and polymerizes into transmembrane tubules (forming pores) which lead to death of a target cell. Lymphocytes: Histology pores are created in target cells, which allow entry of caspase-like granzyme.

Dead cells are replaced by phospholipids Phospholipids Lipids containing one or more phosphate groups, particularly those derived from either glycerol (phosphoglycerides) or sphingosine (sphingolipids). They are polar lipids that are of great importance for the structure and function of cell membranes and are the most abundant of membrane lipids, although not stored in large amounts in the system. Lipid Metabolism and myelin figures Myelin figures Large whorled phospholipid precipitates (from the damaged membrane), which are phagocytosed or degraded to fatty acids Cell Injury and Death, resulting in clarification or phagocytosis Phagocytosis The engulfing and degradation of microorganisms; other cells that are dead, dying, or pathogenic; and foreign particles by phagocytic cells (phagocytes). Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation by macrophages Macrophages The relatively long-lived phagocytic cell of mammalian tissues that are derived from blood monocytes. Main types are peritoneal macrophages; alveolar macrophages; histiocytes; kupffer cells of the liver; and osteoclasts. They may further differentiate within chronic inflammatory lesions to epithelioid cells or may fuse to form foreign body giant cells or langhans giant cells. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation.

Differences between apoptosis and necrosis at structural level

Differences between apoptosis and necrosis at structural level

Image by Lecturio.

Ischemic Injury

Ischemia

Injury from ischemia can be due to:

  • ↓ Supply of blood: mechanical arterial obstruction (most common):
    • Atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis is a common form of arterial disease in which lipid deposition forms a plaque in the blood vessel walls. Atherosclerosis is an incurable disease, for which there are clearly defined risk factors that often can be reduced through a change in lifestyle and behavior of the patient. Atherosclerosis: plaque Plaque Primary Skin Lesions building up in arterial walls
    • Thromboembolism Thromboembolism Obstruction of a blood vessel (embolism) by a blood clot (thrombus) in the blood stream. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: blockage of a blood vessel by a clot dislodged from another source in the body
  • ↓ Venous drainage of blood: venous flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure stops:
    • Deep vein thrombosis Deep vein thrombosis Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) usually occurs in the deep veins of the lower extremities. The affected veins include the femoral, popliteal, iliofemoral, and pelvic veins. Proximal DVT is more likely to cause a pulmonary embolism (PE) and is generally considered more serious. Deep Vein Thrombosis: a blood clot in the deep veins Veins Veins are tubular collections of cells, which transport deoxygenated blood and waste from the capillary beds back to the heart. Veins are classified into 3 types: small veins/venules, medium veins, and large veins. Each type contains 3 primary layers: tunica intima, tunica media, and tunica adventitia. Veins: Histology
    • Peripheral venous disease: progressive stenosis Stenosis Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) of veins Veins Veins are tubular collections of cells, which transport deoxygenated blood and waste from the capillary beds back to the heart. Veins are classified into 3 types: small veins/venules, medium veins, and large veins. Each type contains 3 primary layers: tunica intima, tunica media, and tunica adventitia. Veins: Histology
  • Shock Shock Shock is a life-threatening condition associated with impaired circulation that results in tissue hypoxia. The different types of shock are based on the underlying cause: distributive (↑ cardiac output (CO), ↓ systemic vascular resistance (SVR)), cardiogenic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), hypovolemic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), obstructive (↓ CO), and mixed. Types of Shock:
    • 4 main types:
      • Hypovolemic: ↓ intravascular volume (e.g., blood loss)
      • Cardiogenic: ↓ left ventricular function (e.g., congestive heart failure Congestive heart failure Congestive heart failure refers to the inability of the heart to supply the body with normal cardiac output to meet metabolic needs. Echocardiography can confirm the diagnosis and give information about the ejection fraction. Congestive Heart Failure)
      • Distributive: septic (from sepsis Sepsis Systemic inflammatory response syndrome with a proven or suspected infectious etiology. When sepsis is associated with organ dysfunction distant from the site of infection, it is called severe sepsis. When sepsis is accompanied by hypotension despite adequate fluid infusion, it is called septic shock. Sepsis and Septic Shock), neurogenic (e.g., spinal cord Spinal cord The spinal cord is the major conduction pathway connecting the brain to the body; it is part of the CNS. In cross section, the spinal cord is divided into an H-shaped area of gray matter (consisting of synapsing neuronal cell bodies) and a surrounding area of white matter (consisting of ascending and descending tracts of myelinated axons). Spinal Cord: Anatomy injury), or anaphylactic
      • Obstructive: lack of cardiac outflow (e.g., tension pneumothorax Pneumothorax A pneumothorax is a life-threatening condition in which air collects in the pleural space, causing partial or full collapse of the lung. A pneumothorax can be traumatic or spontaneous. Patients present with a sudden onset of sharp chest pain, dyspnea, and diminished breath sounds on exam. Pneumothorax/ tamponade Tamponade Pericardial effusion, usually of rapid onset, exceeding ventricular filling pressures and causing collapse of the heart with a markedly reduced cardiac output. Pericarditis or pulmonary embolism Pulmonary Embolism Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a potentially fatal condition that occurs as a result of intraluminal obstruction of the main pulmonary artery or its branches. The causative factors include thrombi, air, amniotic fluid, and fat. In PE, gas exchange is impaired due to the decreased return of deoxygenated blood to the lungs. Pulmonary Embolism)

Mechanism of injury

  • ↓ Oxygen availability (aerobic metabolism is interrupted) → reduced ATP production → failure of energy-dependent systems:
    • Plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products membrane +Na+-K+ pump Pump ACES and RUSH: Resuscitation Ultrasound Protocols (Na⁺, K⁺-ATPase) fails → sodium Sodium A member of the alkali group of metals. It has the atomic symbol na, atomic number 11, and atomic weight 23. Hyponatremia enters the cell → cell swells
    • Anaerobic metabolism compensates for the ATP loss → depleted glycogen → ↑ lactic acid → ↓ intracellular pH pH The quantitative measurement of the acidity or basicity of a solution. Acid-Base Balance → impaired enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes
    • Impaired enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes lead to reduced protein synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) → detachment of ribosomes Ribosomes Multicomponent ribonucleoprotein structures found in the cytoplasm of all cells, and in mitochondria, and plastids. They function in protein biosynthesis via genetic translation. The Cell: Organelles 
  • Microscopic changes:
    • Loss of microvilli and formation of “blebs” in the cytoplasm and on the cell membrane Cell Membrane A cell membrane (also known as the plasma membrane or plasmalemma) is a biological membrane that separates the cell contents from the outside environment. A cell membrane is composed of a phospholipid bilayer and proteins that function to protect cellular DNA and mediate the exchange of ions and molecules. The Cell: Cell Membrane
    • Cell and organelles Organelles A cell is a complex unit that performs several complex functions. An organelle is a specialized subunit within a cell that fulfills a specific role or function. Organelles are enclosed within their own lipid bilayers or are unbound by membranes. The Cell: Organelles swell
  • Cells start to lose functionality.
  • ↑ Intracellular concentrations of water, sodium Sodium A member of the alkali group of metals. It has the atomic symbol na, atomic number 11, and atomic weight 23. Hyponatremia, and chloride Chloride Inorganic compounds derived from hydrochloric acid that contain the Cl- ion. Electrolytes, but potassium Potassium An element in the alkali group of metals with an atomic symbol k, atomic number 19, and atomic weight 39. 10. It is the chief cation in the intracellular fluid of muscle and other cells. Potassium ion is a strong electrolyte that plays a significant role in the regulation of fluid volume and maintenance of the water-electrolyte balance. Hyperkalemia
  • All changes are reversible if perfusion and oxygenation are restored. 
  • If ischemia persists, the tissue succumbs to irreversible injury and death.

Reperfusion Injury

Reperfusion

  • Restoration of blood flow Blood flow Blood flow refers to the movement of a certain volume of blood through the vasculature over a given unit of time (e.g., mL per minute). Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure after an ischemic event 
  • Recovery can be achieved (especially with reversible injury).
  • Can paradoxically worsen the injury and lead to cell death Cell death Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Apoptosis is programmed cell death, a mechanism with both physiologic and pathologic effects. Cell Injury and Deathischemia-reperfusion injury:
    • Reperfusion can exacerbate the damage and injure distant organs when mediators are released into the bloodstream.
    • A clinically significant consideration in the treatment of myocardial infarction Myocardial infarction MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction and stroke

Mechanism of injury

Perfusion is restored, which brings damaging pathways:

  • Oxidative stress Oxidative stress A disturbance in the prooxidant-antioxidant balance in favor of the former, leading to potential damage. Indicators of oxidative stress include damaged DNA bases, protein oxidation products, and lipid peroxidation products. Cell Injury and Death: ↑ production of reactive oxygen species Reactive oxygen species Molecules or ions formed by the incomplete one-electron reduction of oxygen. These reactive oxygen intermediates include singlet oxygen; superoxides; peroxides; hydroxyl radical; and hypochlorous acid. They contribute to the microbicidal activity of phagocytes, regulation of signal transduction and gene expression, and the oxidative damage to nucleic acids; proteins; and lipids. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (ROS) or free radicals (molecules with an unpaired electron in the outer orbit Orbit The orbit is the cavity of the skull in which the eye and its appendages are situated. The orbit is composed of 7 bones and has a pyramidal shape, with its apex pointed posteromedially. The orbital contents comprise the eye, extraocular muscles, 5 cranial nerves, blood vessels, fat, the lacrimal apparatus, among others. Orbit and Extraocular Muscles: Anatomy):
  • Overload of intracellular calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes:
    • Calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes → opening of mitochondrial permeability transition pore ( mPTP MPTP Parkinson’s Disease) → ATP depletion ATP depletion Cell Injury and Death
    • Calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes → cellular enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes (e.g., protease Protease Enzyme of the human immunodeficiency virus that is required for post-translational cleavage of gag and gag-pol precursor polyproteins into functional products needed for viral assembly. HIV protease is an aspartic protease encoded by the amino terminus of the pol gene. HIV Infection and AIDS, phospholipase, ATPase, endonuclease) → membrane and nuclear damage
  • Leukocytes Leukocytes White blood cells. These include granular leukocytes (basophils; eosinophils; and neutrophils) as well as non-granular leukocytes (lymphocytes and monocytes). White Myeloid Cells: Histology and cytokines Cytokines Non-antibody proteins secreted by inflammatory leukocytes and some non-leukocytic cells, that act as intercellular mediators. They differ from classical hormones in that they are produced by a number of tissue or cell types rather than by specialized glands. They generally act locally in a paracrine or autocrine rather than endocrine manner. Adaptive Immune Response → recruit more immune cells → ↑ inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation (“ sterile Sterile Basic Procedures inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation”)
  • Complement system Complement system Serum glycoproteins participating in the host defense mechanism of complement activation that creates the complement membrane attack complex. Included are glycoproteins in the various pathways of complement activation (classical complement pathway; alternative complement pathway; and lectin complement pathway). Innate Immunity: Barriers, Complement, and Cytokines activation → complement proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis bind BIND Hyperbilirubinemia of the Newborn ischemic tissues of antibodies Antibodies Immunoglobulins (Igs), also known as antibodies, are glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells that act in immune responses by recognizing and binding particular antigens. The various Ig classes are IgG (the most abundant), IgM, IgE, IgD, and IgA, which differ in their biologic features, structure, target specificity, and distribution. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions → ↑ inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation

The combination of the mechanisms induce:

  • Damage to DNA DNA A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine). DNA Types and Structure, structural proteins Structural proteins Proteins and Peptides, and lipids Lipids Lipids are a diverse group of hydrophobic organic molecules, which include fats, oils, sterols, and waxes. Fatty Acids and Lipids
  • Further activation of proinflammatory and prothrombotic cascades

Cellular architecture is lost and cell death Cell death Injurious stimuli trigger the process of cellular adaptation, whereby cells respond to withstand the harmful changes in their environment. Overwhelmed adaptive mechanisms lead to cell injury. Mild stimuli produce reversible injury. If the stimulus is severe or persistent, injury becomes irreversible. Apoptosis is programmed cell death, a mechanism with both physiologic and pathologic effects. Cell Injury and Death follows.

Cellular changes and adaptive responses in ischemic cell damage

Flowchart summarizing the major pathologic events contributing to ischemic (upper panel) and reperfusion (middle panel) components of tissue injury:
In prolonged ischemia, hypoxia leads to depletion of ATP and reduced intracellular pH pH The quantitative measurement of the acidity or basicity of a solution. Acid-Base Balance (from lactate accumulation). ATP-dependent ion transport mechanisms become deranged, causing cellular calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes overload, swelling Swelling Inflammation/rupture, and death.
When oxygen levels are restored (reperfusion), reactive oxygen species Reactive oxygen species Molecules or ions formed by the incomplete one-electron reduction of oxygen. These reactive oxygen intermediates include singlet oxygen; superoxides; peroxides; hydroxyl radical; and hypochlorous acid. They contribute to the microbicidal activity of phagocytes, regulation of signal transduction and gene expression, and the oxidative damage to nucleic acids; proteins; and lipids. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (ROS) are generated. Proinflammatory changes also occur: Neutrophils Neutrophils Granular leukocytes having a nucleus with three to five lobes connected by slender threads of chromatin, and cytoplasm containing fine inconspicuous granules and stainable by neutral dyes. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation infiltrate ischemic tissues and worsen the ischemic injury. The pathologic events lead to the opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore ( mPTP MPTP Parkinson’s Disease) in the inner mitochondrial membrane, which allow passage of molecules into the mitochondria Mitochondria Semiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of all cells of most, but not all, eukaryotes. Each mitochondrion is surrounded by a double limiting membrane. The inner membrane is highly invaginated, and its projections are called cristae. Mitochondria are the sites of the reactions of oxidative phosphorylation, which result in the formation of ATP. They contain distinctive ribosomes, transfer RNAs; amino Acyl tRNA synthetases; and elongation and termination factors. Mitochondria depend upon genes within the nucleus of the cells in which they reside for many essential messenger RNAs. Mitochondria are believed to have arisen from aerobic bacteria that established a symbiotic relationship with primitive protoeukaryotes. The Cell: Organelles and further impair ATP production.
PFK: phosphofructokinase

Image by Lecturio.

Clinical Relevance

Ischemic damage

  • Infarct: area of necrotic cells in an organ, arising mainly from hypoxia and ischemia:
    • Red or “hemorrhagic” infarct:
      • Affects organs with multiple blood supplies or loose parenchyma allowing blood to leak into tissue (e.g., lungs Lungs Lungs are the main organs of the respiratory system. Lungs are paired viscera located in the thoracic cavity and are composed of spongy tissue. The primary function of the lungs is to oxygenate blood and eliminate CO2. Lungs: Anatomy)
      • From venous infarcts: The vein is blocked, but the artery delivers blood.
      • Reperfusion injury: The restoration of blood flow Blood flow Blood flow refers to the movement of a certain volume of blood through the vasculature over a given unit of time (e.g., mL per minute). Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure causes blood to leak through damaged vessels.
    • Pale/white or “anemic” infarct: injury to organs with a single arterial supply or solid parenchyma (e.g., kidney, heart)
  • Ischemic tolerance Tolerance Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics time: amount of time to develop irreversible tissue damage after an ischemic injury:
    • Brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification:
      • The most susceptible organ to ischemia 
      • The least amount of time before irreversibility occurs
    • Most susceptible organs to reduced blood supply after the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification: The heart/ myocardium Myocardium The muscle tissue of the heart. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow. Heart: Anatomy is the 2nd and the kidneys Kidneys The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located retroperitoneally against the posterior wall of the abdomen on either side of the spine. As part of the urinary tract, the kidneys are responsible for blood filtration and excretion of water-soluble waste in the urine. Kidneys: Anatomy are the 3rd.
    • Both skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions and skeletal muscle tolerate longer periods of ischemia:
      • Often seen in the emergency application of tourniquets (sometimes for hours) with little injury to the tissues
      • Release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology (after the 1st 2 hours) followed by reapplication of compression Compression Blunt Chest Trauma produces minimal injuries. 
  • Anatomically, some organs have watershed areas (border zone):
    • The regions have dual blood supply, but are located at the most distal reaches of the arteries Arteries Arteries are tubular collections of cells that transport oxygenated blood and nutrients from the heart to the tissues of the body. The blood passes through the arteries in order of decreasing luminal diameter, starting in the largest artery (the aorta) and ending in the small arterioles. Arteries are classified into 3 types: large elastic arteries, medium muscular arteries, and small arteries and arterioles. Arteries: Histology.
    • Susceptible to ischemia

Brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification

  • With high metabolic activity and low carbohydrate stores, the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification has the highest susceptibility to ischemia.
  • Ischemia occurs when an embolus or thrombus ( ischemic stroke Ischemic Stroke An ischemic stroke (also known as cerebrovascular accident) is an acute neurologic injury that occurs as a result of brain ischemia; this condition may be due to cerebral blood vessel occlusion by thrombosis or embolism, or rarely due to systemic hypoperfusion. Ischemic Stroke) reduces the blood flow Blood flow Blood flow refers to the movement of a certain volume of blood through the vasculature over a given unit of time (e.g., mL per minute). Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure:
    • Survival of tissue depends on:
    • Neurons Neurons The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the nervous system. Nervous System: Histology die within 5 minutes in the case of complete blockage.
  • Watershed areas:
    • The border zones of the arterial territories
    • The area between the anterior and middle cerebral artery Middle cerebral artery The largest of the cerebral arteries. It trifurcates into temporal, frontal, and parietal branches supplying blood to most of the parenchyma of these lobes in the cerebral cortex. These are the areas involved in motor, sensory, and speech activities. Cerebrovascular System: Anatomy distribution is at highest risk.
    • Infarcts develop after significant hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension.
Watershed areas indicating brain infarct

Watershed areas and infarcts seen on MRI:
a: Watershed areas between the anterior and middle cerebral arterial territories are seen in the anterior blue shade.
Watershed areas between the middle and posterior arterial territories are seen in the posterior blue shade.
b: Occipital Occipital Part of the back and base of the cranium that encloses the foramen magnum. Skull: Anatomy watershed infarct is seen at the boundaries of the middle and the posterior arterial territories.

Image: “Watershed territories” by Clothilde Isabel et al AL Amyloidosis. License: CC BY 4.0

Heart

  • In the setting severe ischemia:
    •  Injury to the myocardium Myocardium The muscle tissue of the heart. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow. Heart: Anatomy is potentially reversible within 30 minutes.
    • Viability progressively decreases after 30 minutes; irreversibility occurs 6–12 hours later. 
  • The most susceptible tissue in the heart is the subendocardial muscle of the left ventricle.
  • Damage from cardiac ischemia leads to:
    • Stable angina Stable angina Persistent and reproducible chest discomfort usually precipitated by a physical exertion that dissipates upon cessation of such an activity. The symptoms are manifestations of myocardial ischemia. Stable and Unstable Angina: 
      • Angina (chest pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways) subsides within 15 minutes of rest or with administration of nitroglycerin Nitroglycerin A volatile vasodilator which relieves angina pectoris by stimulating guanylate cyclase and lowering cytosolic calcium. It is also sometimes used for tocolysis and explosives. Nitrates
      • Derived from a mismatch between myocardial oxygen demand Myocardial oxygen demand Stable and Unstable Angina and oxygen supply 
    • Acute coronary syndrome:
      • Unstable or crescendo angina: Angina lasting > 20 minutes at rest or with minimal exertion (troponin levels are normal).
      • Non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction Myocardial infarction MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction (NSTEMI): 
        • Myocardial infarction Myocardial infarction MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction with angina and increased troponin
        • Not associated with elevation of the ST segment ST segment Isoelectric segment between the s wave and the initial deflection of the t wave. Electrocardiogram (ECG) on ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG)
      • STEMI: a myocardial infarction Myocardial infarction MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction with angina and elevation of the ST segment ST segment Isoelectric segment between the s wave and the initial deflection of the t wave. Electrocardiogram (ECG) on ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Kidney

  • Vulnerable due to:
    • A significant amount of cardiac output Cardiac output The volume of blood passing through the heart per unit of time. It is usually expressed as liters (volume) per minute so as not to be confused with stroke volume (volume per beat). Cardiac Mechanics (25%) moving to the kidneys Kidneys The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located retroperitoneally against the posterior wall of the abdomen on either side of the spine. As part of the urinary tract, the kidneys are responsible for blood filtration and excretion of water-soluble waste in the urine. Kidneys: Anatomy
    • Limited collateral blood supply from extrarenal sites
    • High metabolic activity
  • Shows pale/white infarct when ischemic damage occurs
  • Ischemia can occur in cases of:
    • Hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension
    • Sepsis Sepsis Systemic inflammatory response syndrome with a proven or suspected infectious etiology. When sepsis is associated with organ dysfunction distant from the site of infection, it is called severe sepsis. When sepsis is accompanied by hypotension despite adequate fluid infusion, it is called septic shock. Sepsis and Septic Shock
    • Surgery 
  • Interruption to complete obstruction of blood supply noted in:
    • Cardioembolic disease (e.g., atrial fibrillation Atrial fibrillation Atrial fibrillation (AF or Afib) is a supraventricular tachyarrhythmia and the most common kind of arrhythmia. It is caused by rapid, uncontrolled atrial contractions and uncoordinated ventricular responses. Atrial Fibrillation)
    • Renal artery Renal artery A branch of the abdominal aorta which supplies the kidneys, adrenal glands and ureters. Glomerular Filtration injury
    • Hypercoagulable Hypercoagulable Hypercoagulable states (also referred to as thrombophilias) are a group of hematologic diseases defined by an increased risk of clot formation (i.e., thrombosis) due to either an increase in procoagulants, a decrease in anticoagulants, or a decrease in fibrinolysis. Hypercoagulable States state
  • Areas most affected:
    • Proximal tubule Proximal tubule The renal tubule portion that extends from the bowman capsule in the kidney cortex into the kidney medulla. The proximal tubule consists of a convoluted proximal segment in the cortex, and a distal straight segment descending into the medulla where it forms the u-shaped loop of henle. Tubular System ( S3 S3 Heart Sounds segment): minimal capacity to produce energy in anaerobic conditions
    • The medullary thick ascending limb Thick ascending limb Renal Sodium and Water Regulation of the loop of Henle Loop of Henle The U-shaped portion of the renal tubule in the kidney medulla, consisting of a descending limb and an ascending limb. It is situated between the proximal kidney tubule and the distal kidney tubule. Tubular System

Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy

  • With a complex vasculature and high metabolic activity, hepatic injury results from severe hypoperfusion.
  • Can occur with an interruption of blood supply to the liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy:
    • Hepatic sickle cell crisis 
    • Hepatic artery Hepatic artery A branch of the celiac artery that distributes to the stomach, pancreas, duodenum, liver, gallbladder, and greater omentum. Liver: Anatomy thrombosis Thrombosis Formation and development of a thrombus or blood clot in the blood vessel. Epidemic Typhus
    • Other systemic conditions (e.g., shock Shock Shock is a life-threatening condition associated with impaired circulation that results in tissue hypoxia. The different types of shock are based on the underlying cause: distributive (↑ cardiac output (CO), ↓ systemic vascular resistance (SVR)), cardiogenic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), hypovolemic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), obstructive (↓ CO), and mixed. Types of Shock, respiratory failure Respiratory failure Respiratory failure is a syndrome that develops when the respiratory system is unable to maintain oxygenation and/or ventilation. Respiratory failure may be acute or chronic and is classified as hypoxemic, hypercapnic, or a combination of the two. Respiratory Failure)
  • Interruption of hepatic blood supply manifests with:
    • Elevation of transaminases Transaminases A subclass of enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the transfer of an amino group from a donor (generally an amino acid) to an acceptor (generally a 2-keto acid). Most of these enzymes are pyridoxyl phosphate proteins. Autoimmune Hepatitis 
    • Occasionally with GI symptoms (e.g., nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, abdominal pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways)
  • Often accompanied by other end-organ hypoperfusion (e.g., renal ischemia presenting as ↑ creatinine)
  • Area most affected: zone 3 (area closest to and around the central vein)

Intestine

  • Extensive collateral circulation Circulation The movement of the blood as it is pumped through the cardiovascular system. ABCDE Assessment (protective against hypoperfusion)
  • Even if mesenteric blood flow Blood flow Blood flow refers to the movement of a certain volume of blood through the vasculature over a given unit of time (e.g., mL per minute). Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure decreases by 75% for up to 12 hours, injury is minimal due to collateral circulation Circulation The movement of the blood as it is pumped through the cardiovascular system. ABCDE Assessment.
  • Sources of ischemia:
    • Mesenteric arterial occlusion ( thrombosis Thrombosis Formation and development of a thrombus or blood clot in the blood vessel. Epidemic Typhus or emboli)
    • Venous thrombosis Thrombosis Formation and development of a thrombus or blood clot in the blood vessel. Epidemic Typhus (↑ resistance Resistance Physiologically, the opposition to flow of air caused by the forces of friction. As a part of pulmonary function testing, it is the ratio of driving pressure to the rate of air flow. Ventilation: Mechanics of Breathing from venous flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure → bowel edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema and ischemia)
    • Nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia Mesenteric Ischemia Mesenteric ischemia is a rare, life-threatening condition caused by inadequate blood flow through the mesenteric vessels, which results in ischemia and necrosis of the intestinal wall. Mesenteric ischemia can be either acute or chronic. Mesenteric Ischemia (splanchnic hypoperfusion)
  • Watershed areas ( large intestine Large intestine The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy): splenic flexure Splenic flexure Small Intestine: Anatomy:
    • Blood supply from the narrow terminal branches of the superior mesenteric artery Superior mesenteric artery A large vessel supplying the whole length of the small intestine except the superior part of the duodenum. It also supplies the cecum and the ascending part of the colon and about half the transverse part of the colon. It arises from the anterior surface of the aorta below the celiac artery at the level of the first lumbar vertebra. Small Intestine: Anatomy
    • Griffiths’ point: area of weakness 
  • Rectosigmoid junction Rectosigmoid junction Rectum and Anal Canal: Anatomy:
    • Blood supply from the narrow terminal branches of the inferior mesenteric artery Inferior mesenteric artery The artery supplying nearly all the left half of the transverse colon, the whole of the descending colon, the sigmoid colon, and the greater part of the rectum. It is smaller than the superior mesenteric artery and arises from the aorta above its bifurcation into the common iliac arteries. Small Intestine: Anatomy
    • Sudeck’s point: area of weakness

References

  1. El Sabbahy, M., Vaidya, V.S. (2011). Ischemic kidney injury and mechanisms of tissue repair. Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Systems biology and medicine, 3(5), 606–618. https://doi.org/10.1002/wsbm.133
  2. Friedman, L. (2021). Ischemic hepatitis, hepatic infarction, and ischemic cholangiopathy. UpToDate. Retrieved Aug 20, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/ischemic-hepatitis-hepatic-infarction-and-ischemic-cholangiopathy#H2
  3. Kalogeris, T., Baines, C.P., Krenz, M., Korthuis, R.J. (2016). Ischemia/Reperfusion. Comprehensive Physiology, 7(1), 113–170. https://doi.org/10.1002/cphy.c160006
  4. Kalogeris, T., Baines, C.P., Krenz, M., Korthuis, R.J. (2012). Cell biology of ischemia/reperfusion injury. International review of cell and molecular biology. 298 : p.229–317. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394309-5.00006-7 
  5. Kemp, W.L., & Burns, D.K., & Brown, T.G. (Eds.), (2008). Chapter 1. cellular pathology. Pathology: The Big Picture. McGraw Hill. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=499&sectionid=41568284
  6. Lee, J.M., Grabb, M.C., Zipfel, G.J., Choi, D.W. (2000). Brain tissue responses to ischemia. The Journal of clinical investigation, 106(6), 723–731. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI11003
  7. Mitchell, R., Connolly, A. (2021). The Heart. In Kumar, V., Abbas, A., Aster, J., Robbins, S. (Eds.),Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease (10th ed., pp. 527–555). Elsevier, Inc.
  8. Oakes, S. (2021). Cell injury, cell death and adaptations. In Kumar, V., Abbas, A., Aster, J., Robbins, S. (Eds.),Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease (10th ed., pp. 55–57). Elsevier, Inc.

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